Product of the Day, Day 15: Polk Audio SurroundBar

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Polk Audio SurroundBar

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The Definitive Technology Mythos SSA surroundbar has been getting most of the press around here lately, because #1 it is the best product of its type and #2 I used it in my tutorial Setting Up a SurroundBar Home Theater System.  It’s important we not forget the Polk Audio Surroundbar, though, as it was the first product of its type, sounds quite good, and is significantly less expensive than the Definitive Technology SSA series series of speakers.

The Definitive Technology and Polk Audio single piece surround speakers are actually brothers.  Polk Audio developed the product first using their SDA technology, which uses signal processing and additional speaker drivers to greatly enhance stereo and surround imaging.  After Polk Audio was sold to Directed Electronics, the parent company of Definitive, a higher-end version of the Surroundbar was developed to be sold under the Definitive name.  The technology is the same but the Definitive’s drivers are higher-grade and use more advanced, refined designs.

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Multiple mounting options

The Polk Audio Surroundbar uses drivers that appear to come from the Polk TSi (formerly Monitor) series of speakers and share the same family sound.  They sound natural, clear, and very listenable with a nice warmth, but lack the breathtaking clarity and definition of the Definitive Technology product.  This is hardly damning with faint praise as they do have truly good sound.  One of my most memorable experiences reviewing the Surroundbar was watching Seabiscuit.  The Surroundbar really put you in the middle of the race and the horses sounded like they were right in the room with you, as the hooves striking the turf and the sound of speed put you in the action.  The Surroundbar works well with music, too, including classical.  Just remember that with any surroundbar you need a subwoofer to fill in the low end.

Here are some original close-ups of the Surroundbar.  It is important to remember this may be just a single speaker, but it fully reproduces five channels.  It can be mounted on the wall or placed on a cradle in front of or on top of the TV.

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Extruded aluminum cabinet- top quality!

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Left speaker array, with left front and left surround speakers, plus SDA drivers

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Surroundbar center channel

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Right speaker array

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Connection plate.  A five-channel connection cable with color-coded leads is included

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Wire comes labeled as well as color-coded

If you don’t want to splurge for the Definitive the Polk is a great choice, and a great way to get excellent home theater sound without running wires throughout the room.  It comes in two versions, the Surroundbar and Surroundbar 50. The 50 is designed to match TVs 50″ and larger.  Either will work with any TV, though.

Learn more at Polk Audio’s Surroundbar page.  Also be sure to check out my tour of Polk Audio’s headquarters!

Save money and support this site by ordering from Amazon.com:

Amazon.com: Polk Audio SurroundBar Speaker System (Single Speaker) – Black

Amazon.com: Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 Surround System (Single Speaker, Black)


Another Product of the Day will be here tomorrow, be sure to stop back!


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